Julius Ceasar Essay

795 words - 3 pages

Caesar's Funeral Speeches - "Justification versus Manipulation" In William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, one of the most important and significant orations are the funeral speeches given by both Brutus and Mark Antony. At first glance, the funeral speeches seem to have no true significant meaning. However upon further investigation it is established that the speeches ultimately serve as the basis for the final outcome of the play. By exploring the speeches of both Brutus and Mark Antony we are able to focus on the key components which differentiate one from the other. Through this examination we are also able to comprehend why Brutus' speech becomes one of justification and explanation, while Antony's becomes one of manipulation and skill. In order to evaluate each of the speeches, we must first distinguish the general purpose each serves. It is known that both Brutus and Antony desired to appeal to the Romans (or the people). However, the way in which each man went about it differs drastically. Not only did it influence the outcome, but each speech also offers a unique insight on each of the speakers. Brutus' speech becomes one of strict vindication, not only for the people of Rome, but for Brutus himself. He uses his "honor and nobility" as a shield to defend and justify his actions to the crowd. Brutus states that he has carried out this heinous act because of his love for Rome, and for the good of the people. (This is my answer, not that I have loved Caesar less, but that I love Rome more..." 3.2.21-22) In his speech he requests that the people use their "reason" to judge him. Although this captivates the crowd, it is not until after one of the plebeians cry "Let him be Caesar." (3.2.51) that it is realized the speech is "merely too good for them." (Goddard pg.322) Brutus begins to realize that liberty is not what the people wanted, but rather that they desire a powerful leader.Although his speech serves the purpose for its practical effectiveness, Brutus later comes to discover that his lack of insight of human nature aided in the apparent hopelessness of his cause. In comparison Mark Antony fully understands human nature and utilizes his awareness of it in his...

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